Tuesday, October 31, 2006

saying no

October 28th is Oxi day for Greeks. "Oxi" (pronounced ohi means simply "no"). It's basically the day when during WWII, the Greeks said no to Mussolini's request to join forces with them and thereby became a resistance force against them. Now try to explain this to pre-schoolers. We simplified it by saying that Oxi Day is the day when the Greeks told the bad guys that they weren't going to play with them. They told them "No". They were going to play with the good guys only.

So last Saturday, October 28th, we had some good friends of ours over who are quite British as in they never miss an episode of Coronation Street ;) They wanted a Greek feast and coincidentally our respective schedules seemed to be free on this national greek holiday. We served lots of different greek foods and wine, played greek music and had greek flags here and there. At one point during the meal, conversation shifted towards the meaning of this day. To which baby boy announced: "today is the day we say NO to the bullies!" Baby girl starts chanting: "no to the bullies, no the bullies" and big sis adds "So Oxi Day is an anti-bullying day"

Gotta love how the mind of kids work!

Monday, October 30, 2006

my commute

Everyday as I drive the kids back and forth to their pre-school (third year now) I am in awe on how beautiful my commute is. NO lights, NO traffic. For years and years I was subjected to that crazy rat race. Now I get to relish a tranquil meandering road with certain landmarks that invite daily conversations from my little ones and some great learning opportunities. So a couple of weeks ago, on a warm sunny day when the fall colors were in their glory, camera in hand, I retraced our daily ten minute route to commit it to posterity.

Leaving home:

"Look at all those colors mom!" To which I add, let's say them in all the languages we know!

"Hello cows! Are you going to make us some yummy milk today?"

Our local John Deere dealership which elicits diatribes on motors and mowers and other assorted machinery. And on other days, we've actually seen real deer along the way!

Yep, no traffic!

And how many commuters get to see this sign?

More cows!

No traffic lights either!

Daily major slow-down here every day to see momma and babe: "look mom, they put coats on today, they were cold!"

Made it to school, here's where they play, play, play!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

mom's away

Ever since the twins were mere babes, I've made a point of going away once a year in the fall, by myself, for a week-end. Something for a busy mom to look forward to every year. A well earned reprieve. It seems the nature and quality of my getaways has evolved over the past 5 years.

The first year, I went with one girlfriend to a spa nestled in the countryside. It was pure pampering. Two uninterrupted nights of sleep and 3 days of treatments. No TV, no computer, no phone, no shopping. I lounged around in my robe all day. Total bliss for a new mom of twins. It rejuvenated me for weeks.

The second year, went with 2 girlfriends to another spa close to a small town with a nightlife and some shopping but I ended up being sick as a dog with a cold/flu and basically stayed in bed the whole time. One exhausted and totally run down mom.

The following year, I invited a couple of friends, very special friends, to my little mountainside getaway. I'll admit to being a little nervous about the whole affair at first, meeting some people for the first time and not knowing how the interpersonal dynamics would pan out for such a large group. But there was instant chemistry. We talked and drank and ate chocolate and talked about our kids and ate chips and nuts, and shopped and went for a spa treatment and talked some more and laughed till our bellies hurt and exchanged gifts and even went out dancing. We had such a blast that we started an annual tradition.

The following year, we upped it up a notch and went to Montreal. Same activities: talking, drinking, walking all over town, pedicure, shopping, gift exchanges and more talking. A great time again.

This past week-end, we met in Toronto. We upped it up again a whole other notch. No wonder my blog has been idle. Too busy getting ready to go and settling back upon my return. This time I flew there. What an absolute treat to be flying without my usual entourage. I read the onboard magazine uninterrupted from cover-to-cover! And then the party started: martinis, great food at some great restaurants, great shopping, lots and lots of talking about our kids and our lives as moms, hottub at nightime on the hotel's rooftop with a most incredible view of the city all around us, manicure and pedicure treat, a few hours at the Ontario Art Gallery, some time alone taking the subway and walking down the streets with coffee in hand, the most hilarious gift exchanges and the most therapeutic belly laughs. I left exhausted, physically (a total opposite to my first getaway) but my heart all warmed up from the company of so many fun-loving women. Some I will not see for a while but they always remain close to my heart.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


In my books, ALL moms are supermoms. All in varying degrees.

Today, I want to honor a few. It just so happens that I've met them all at the twin's preschool which is not "just a school" but a community. A lot of moms have sat on that bench watching their kids play. A lot of stories, some happy, some sad have been shared there. Here are a few of their stories.

Yesterday, a new baby boy was born. The fourth child to a mom who is a full-time high school math teacher. Her other children are 5, 3 and 2. So yesterday morning at 6:30 am she had her first contraction. Less than an hour later, she gave birth in the front seat of the family's vehicle. They were on their way to the hospital and ended up pulling over in a gas station. And today, she came to pick up her other kids from the school! I just had to give her one big hug!!

This other mom obtained her law degree while having kids. She now has a 10, 8, 6 and 4 year old and a 6 month old baby boy who was born a few weeks before they moved to their new house. She just started a two years Master's degree in a university in an other city! She commutes back and forth, 3-4 days here and 3-4 days there. AND her baby boy is still solely breast fed. Yep, she pumps between classes in her car. What stamina. I wish her luck and give her a big hug each time I see her.

Then there is the other mom who had to abruptly leave her husband. He was abusing their daughter, a fact that just a select few know. With nowhere to go, one of the other mom's invited her over to live with them. This mom whose life has been turned upside down doesn't have a job. The husband is giving her zilch. She doesn't have the money to keep her child in this pre-school. The director of the school, concerned for the welfare of this child and not wanting to disrupt her life any further, has agreed to keep her on at no cost. And a few of us moms sent out a letter asking to anonymously provide cash donations. Helping others in time of need demonstrates compassion. We wish her all well.

If only compassion was a universal theme. If only our global village showed a sense of community. If only supermoms ruled. Ahh, the things that would be accomplished!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

we made it back

What a whirlwind of a week-end! A lot of time spent in the car but ultimately it was really worth it. Our relatives in Detroit and Windsor are just awesome. Warm and welcoming and loving. We did a lot of eating. We did a lot of talking. The weather was incredible. The best was definitely seeing the kids spend some time with their cousins.

Our kids did great in the car. Thanks to our portable DVD player and a few new movies. I also got them lap tables and were thus able to draw, write, color and snack more easily.

They loved staying at a hotel the first night. It was the cutest sight seeing them drag their little suitcases across the lobby and into the elevator. In the morning, a little swim in the hotel's pool burnt off some energy before finishing our trek.

In Windsor, we first went to our uncle and aunt's place. They have a huge backyard with apple and pear tress. So the kids went a pickin! Then off to our cousins' place where we stayed for the next 3 nights. Their house is right on St Clair lake. Hundreds of sailboats to see!

In between eating we went for walks, to local parks, sightseeing. On Sunday we crossed the border into Detroit to attend the baptism followed by a big great feast. The food was awesome, the chocolate fountain at the end a real hit with the kids! And everyone danced a lot too. Opa!

It was sad when it was time to leave. Wished they all lived closer. But what great family memories we created.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

happy Thanksgiving

What a glorious morning. Took that picture on our way to the twins school. Along with a gazillion other ones. The morning light playing on the colorful trees'foliage was breathtaking.

No turkey for us this week-end. At least I don't think so. We are leaving this afternoon for Detroit. We are attending a cousin's baby girl's baptism. A big fat greek party. Should be fun. The kids are excited at the prospect of sleeping in a hotel in Toronto tonight and then seeing their little cousins over the week-end. I'm a little apprehensive about spending all those hours driving with them. The longest for them so far. Yes, we've been on planes for much longer but seems to me that's easier as you can get up and walk and there's more things to do. Oh well, I did a tour at the local dollar store yesterday and have a couple of surprises for along the way.

Better go pack. Yes, I'm in charge of it all. Gotta get the truck all loaded up and then will go pick up the kids at their respective schools and hubby at work. We're planning to beat the traffic (Senators game tonight) and having super around Kingston and checking into the hotel at bedtime.

So happy Thanksgiving to you all :)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

not much change

To reciprocate nancy's last two posts, yes, life has been busy around here, so much so that I've become a silent blogger. Add we've been battling germs of all kinds: bacteria in my kids ears and viruses in my computer (sigh).

All that I can attempt today is this little quiz that shows that I haven't changed much. Good ole' steady and dependable me. The scary part is that picture, it SO totally looks like me in elementary school. The hairstyle. THE GLASSES! But I should comment that I've been working really hard at chucking all my OLD clothes and trying to be MORE hip. And needless to say, I'm not totally an antique having my own blog ;)

You've Changed 8% in 10 Years

You've hardly changed in ten years, from your lifestyle to those very retro clothes.

And unless you were really ahead of your time, you probably need to acquaint yourself with the modern world!

Stay tuned, I will be back, some day...